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Water meters - pros and cons?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Water Bills
592 replies 361.6K views
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Replies

  • CardewCardew Forumite
    28.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    geet wrote: »
    Hello, can someone advice? We shifted to Southern water meter in Sept 08 and had a bill of £16 for a few months then £18 for a few months - we were relieved as our non-meter rate was £33. Now we have a letter saying we have to pay £28. This they say is because of increased usage in the last five months which is NOT true because we are a couple and we both were away one full month and one of us was away for three months in the last five months. We both travel a lot. So it cannot be increased usage of water and they say rate has only marginally increased and there is no leak to explain either. Could the meter be faulty?

    One kitchen sink, a washing machine, one washbasin, one shower (we don't take baths) and one closet is all we have. We hardly have visitors and we are often away. It is a mystery to us how the rate went up but if it is fact then is it not better to be at standard rate of £33 and forget about usage?

    Thanks.

    That doesn't mean that you are using water at a rate of £28 a month.

    Initially they estimate and if you were paying £18 a month and using, say, £23 of water, you would be running up a debt(debit balance) of £5 a month.

    They fix the rate at £28 to cover the £23 and repay the debt you have built up. They aim to get your account at a zero balance by the end of the year(March) When that debt is cleared you will drop to £23.

    As you only got a meter last Sept it will take a while to get a consumption pattern established. Until then the DD will rise and fall. as indicated in the post above this.
  • geetgeet Forumite
    174 posts
    Thanks, that makes sense. But... looking at the papers I see they increased from £16 to £18 in January 09 citing readings. That must have been to clear all debts by March 09. Then from April to now we have been paying £18 and this is where my problem comes as we were both away the whole of April and one of us away till mid July! As long as there is no faulty meter I am prepared to wait and see...!
  • CardewCardew Forumite
    28.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    geet wrote: »
    Thanks, that makes sense. But... looking at the papers I see they increased from £16 to £18 in January 09 citing readings. That must have been to clear all debts by March 09. Then from April to now we have been paying £18 and this is where my problem comes as we were both away the whole of April and one of us away till mid July! As long as there is no faulty meter I am prepared to wait and see...!

    The bottom line is to check that you only pay for the water you use and that your water use is not excessive.

    As you are a couple, the average consumption would be 120 cubic metres per year. you can check what you have used by looking at the meter.

    Your charges are detailed here.

    https://www.southernwater.co.uk/DomesticCustomers/aboutYourBill/default.asp

    For a couple the average bill would be approx £350 however you are apparently using a lot less.
  • geetgeet Forumite
    174 posts
    Thank you cardew, will look at the link and keep an eye out. Meanwhile i did call Southern Water and they have for the time being agreed to reduce the rate to £20! Thanks.
  • Just thought I'd do an update.
    It's approaching 6 months since we had our meter fitted and we have used 52 m3. This equates to 116 m3 a year for a 2 adult + 2 children family + foster daughter as well at the moment. I have just contacted Severn Trent and they have agreed to reduce my Direct Debit to £11 from £39 as we well in credit. We are only using £30 / month at present for an annual total of £360 compared to our previous Rateable annual bill of £502 so I am well happy with this saving :D. Thanks :T
    If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try - oh bu99er that just cheat :D
  • I am about to have a water meter fitted.. I have no dea how much i use but there is only me, my 10yr old Daughter, 2 dogs, 1 cat and 2 terrapins... ... My current water bill for the year is £617... I am ruddy well hoping i save some money because the cost of my water bill and electricity is crippling me on benefits.
  • edited 14 October 2009 at 11:55PM
    oldnthriftyoldnthrifty Forumite
    48 posts
    edited 14 October 2009 at 11:55PM
    Most water companies fail to check your water drainage but bill you for it anyway i.e rainwater from your roof is calculated in your bill. However some properties use soak aways from their their down pipes which therefore do not enter the drainage system and should not be charged.

    If in doubt ask your water company to confirm where your roof water enters the drainage system.

    Worth a try to get a small rebate.
    It is a Camels temperament that has truly endeared the camel to man.
    Docile and sweet under a caring hand.
    But stubborn and angry if ill treated.
    the camel both wins your heart and your respect.
  • Most water companies fail to check your water drainage but bill you for it anyway i.e rainwater from your roof is calculated in your bill. However some properties use soak aways from their their down pipes which therefore do not enter the drainage system and should not be charged.

    If in doubt ask your water company to confirm where your roof water enters the drainage system.

    Worth a try to get a small rebate.


    Actually the water companies are not aware of where it goes unless you tell them. Most properties are attached for Surface water drainage and billed correctly but if you think you have a soakaway call your company and they will send out a surface water drainage form that you fill in with a little drawing and send it back, An inspector will them come and confirm that you are not connected. Normally you would only get a refund from the beginning of the year you applied in (ie 01.04.0*)
    If a whole estate is not connected then they might confirm one or two plus and then do the whole lot.
    Some properties have their own septic tank as well and that leaves them with just the water charge.
    There is a race of men that don't fit in; A race that can't stand still;
    So they break the hearts of kith and kin, and roam the world at will.

    Robert Service
  • CardewCardew Forumite
    28.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Most water companies fail to check your water drainage but bill you for it anyway i.e rainwater from your roof is calculated in your bill. However some properties use soak aways from their their down pipes which therefore do not enter the drainage system and should not be charged.

    If in doubt ask your water company to confirm where your roof water enters the drainage system.

    Worth a try to get a small rebate.

    Has been covered many times here - search for Surface Water Drainage.

    It is not just roof, if water from your land runs into the road(and then the sewer) they will charge.
  • lindauklindauk Forumite
    140 posts
    I have to say that I have loved having our water meter fitted (we were very lucky the landlord let us get one installed). We haven't changed the way that we use the water at all and our bills have gone down loads. Unmetered we were paying £56 a month, went onto a meter and they dropped the DD to £34 and have just received a refund and a letter saying that our DD has now been dropped to £24 a month! there is two of us in the house, both shower daily, washing up and washing machine a couple of times a week and i have a bath every couple of weeks. Well worth it im my opinion!!
    [Survey site stuff goes here]

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